, . [applause] >> thank you. this is a nice event they you have put on for us here. i am most grateful to you for coming. and they said it was soothing and if you knew richard helms you did not dare to ask what was then the cardboard box. finally going to tirana said what is in the box? the cardboard box?
he opened it the only thing it was a silk scarf and evening clothes and all those years i thought it was love letters about a woman i did not know about. i did not intend to write this book. but i tried to write the book that i saw that i was too close to some of the events like the of war and a divorce and other issues. i put it away. and i went to work but then my grown grandchildren made me promise i would do it.
so he made me promise i would do it. one year ago in january i found chris who is the ultimate person to work with. she kept me focused. we were joined at the hip over eight months. i am most grateful to press. that is how it started. >> faq for hosting this wonderful event and also to celebrate the remarkable woman and her intriguing life. i once felt the women of the greatest generation have not gotten their due, attention, or credit they deserve. not to take away from the men who were patriotic, and brave, survived the depression, fought the war, contributed to the baby boom after words but so did
the women. but they got the intention of the they were just as talented and patriotic and importuned. cynthia helms has experienced up close and personal the momentous events of the 20th century and also known some of the most famous people well we were working on the book i said you're like forest gump. you know, everybody. [laughter] this and the sea in 1964 was here for the first tour of the united states for the royals she found herself sitting next to paul mccartney. of course, she did. [laughter] the most remarkable thing is she was not just a witness to history she lived in extraordinary life and those
are taking place over the sentry born in england the little girls were expected to grow up to be a wife and mother but nothing else. but things change and she changed. i hope the book will contribute to younger women's understandings of what their mothers and grandmothers went through and not to take for granted all that they have. she earned all the time to have a life of her own. that was about having her own unique identity not just as someone's mother or wife for as much as she enjoyed being a mother or also
mrs. richard helms. she was more than that. that was important said every human being once their own identity. we will begin with their service in world war ii. growing up on the southeast coast of england and for the millennium that part had been invaded by vikings. the people of that area were acutely aware of the nazi threat because it was in the dna that they were vulnerable to invaders. she listed in the women's royal naval service as an issue was 18. my first question is tell us why did you in less?
what drives you as a teenager to become a member of the women's royal naval service? >> guest: i was sent to the west coast when the war broke out. it was 1938 with war in 1939. we were very a vulnerable. there were bombings but my parents sent me to the west coast with an elderly alkyl who was a naval officer. his son was in france when they collapsed in his other son committed suicide because he lost all of his money in the financial crisis. by live with him for about
one year and he would ride his bicycle in the morning looking for food. he was very strict and i said he will not let me out. because he was such a naughty playboys he knows what can happen to the girls. [laughter] so he listed me to go to the imperial hotel for the pilots. if had been taken over for rehabilitation for the pilots with the battle of britain for car was 17. i was leaning up against the door thinking can i do this looking at all of these men with huge bandages santos
figuration. there was one young man who had all of these bandages and his eyebrows were gone and he was looking at me. he held my eyes and a new instinctively he did not want me to flinch when i looked at his face. i would stand there. then i told my uncle i am going home i said because i have to doing. this was the middle of july. i went home and told my mother i would join. so the great discussion with my brother who was here force pilot and to dropping
into france in the end he flew 80 missions he get a distinguished medal now the only survivor of his squadron. it is amazing. i still talk to him every weekend. my mother was not all happy but i went to london to the naval officer and i joined up. on my 18th birthday. after two or three weeks i asked to go to scotland of course, many volunteers you go the opposite direction. i went to enable the establishment to working in an office there. i was assigned to a man
named richard miles. you'd see his name in books because he was a friend of the roosevelts he was trying to win support for the of war. i certainly could not type or do anything. but two months later the lady said they were looking for volunteers for the harbor boats in the south of england. they could be run by women. she was so large i thought she was responsible for the end where we were issued because they were huge bloomers. [laughter] and a huge prize i had nothing to put it in either of them. i put my name down when i
got to plan as we with the first group they had no idea what to do with us so there were six weeks of training i was called the ordinary seamen and after the six weeks we've learned to clean the dax -- decks' we were assigned a different boats in the harbor. as we walk on the men walked off so they would fight said greater for. i was assigned a hospital ship were some of the men stayed. they had a hard time accepting as. then i was assigned to the
admiral's barge. of through the harbor the ships were coming and we we're doing all the workhouse and also the torpedo boats and always said couple submarines tied up. that is what we we're doing. the blitz was over but there were raids. when they would come back they would drop bombs on the way home rather than take them home. we had constant air raids every night. when you went to bet, we have the curfew, you would put your valuables in your
pajamas and in your coat every night in the daytime i would ride in the front of the double decker bus and see the people with the damage to the dockyard every day. then i was sent to a place where they were getting ready for the day. we ran the other party boats. there was no harbour but just open sea. it was difficult. and was incredibly tense. the young men and would get drunk every night.
it was to be ears. every night we had to take them back. if you can imagine in the dark, not a single light on the sea or the land and grow your way out juicy and the places where they belong to. but one of the main things was listen to these people. they wanted to talk. they had no idea why they were there. they wanted to talk about their families. was thinking via other night i don't think any of them talked about the future but four hours and hours of a talk to the young mariners most of whom were lost and
for what it meant to them. so i think it was just listening to the people. we were having a hard time being recognized so the queen mum very kindly came on our boat. so she could make it look more legitimate so we were more accepted as part of the navy. and of course, she came with her high heels. [laughter] it was good of her to do that. >> host: i was struck that
the young people don't have with mortality but there was a teacher -- future bids you were married at the age of 19 this year has been too was a medical doctor you had two babies at the time and you thought it would be relatively easy transition and because they spoke english? that that the whole was not true? [laughter] tell us about that. >> coming to america i was quite irresponsible it was not quite as simple as that
i had no idea where the mayo clinic was. i could not get passage until november i arrived in minnesota in a blizzard. then richard miles came and took me off to say andrea tickly in on my first night from the six swing plane. but it was these little children with the extraordinary house and then richard miles put me on a plane.
i had no idea where minnesota was. and then he handed me a bottle of brandy and of course, i got to minnesota and i had two babies i knew what the bottle of brandy was for. [laughter] line has been said you cannot do that. then the whole thing froze up. then it was very, very different that i was feeling
my best but a friend of mine from california were laughing about it it was all right but the first night there they took me to buy food but in england we had no food. there was nothing in the shops it got into the piggery wiggly but i could not cope with the packaged food and had not seen the cans and chickens running around. [laughter]
i had no idea. then she asked me to great the carrots. but the man next door wanted to take me fishing. so was i was leaving to take me fishing they said will you drop me off? he said there is nothing i would rather do. [laughter] i had no idea what i said but the language was funny. it is completely different language but i learned to buy the food.
[laughter] >> host: after rochester you move to the washington area in your children were growing up to the american. red, white, and blue but you hesitated but march 1957 you became a citizen but tell us why you hesitated. >> guest: i raise them completely american. i gave a great deal of thought that there loyalty should not be divided. that britain was bad and wanted them to be clean americans so then they said if we are american why aren't you? i sought i had better do this. i did not tell a single
person that i went down and became a citizen. those-- they would take using billy. this wonderful husband of my friend said it is so k. you can do it. so i went down and they said we never meant -- give up the king country? they did not mention the queen so i said yes. [laughter] i found it hard to do. i thought for england and was at school with churchill's daughter and he was part of my life. we were begging for people to come in.was very emotional.
and in glint allies wanted to fight for it but it is not put me in jail so it is hard for me to give up my citizenship. i am sure it is not easy to do. the man behind me said is in a great to be an american? i said i will tell you later. [laughter] >> host: restart the book with a scene from 1968. after flying to reno nevada to decade quick divorce. it was not easy. she came back and drove her car directly into the middle of a riot in washington d.c. right after margin mr. king
was assassinated and the city exploded. 1968 was a time of major turmoil and a huge time of change j niort life. you got a divorce after a long marriage and a time when the women's movement was beginning to get under way in the united states. but not bothered by the women's movement? it was something else. >> guest: no. in to be very inspired of the pioneer women who settled this country and to know my ancestors it was
very insulated. coming to the country reading about the of pioneers we found that very inspiring and there was a wonderful greek admiral. but i love the stories of the pioneers in statement much more in my life they did not think much of that. >> host: your marriage to richard helms 1968 was one of the most productive times in your life. you have the opportunity to have a life of your own. the children were grown in
doing well in school. you were getting involved with environmental organization for women. then your first paid job posting the smithsonian radio show. what did that mean? >> it was a wonderful time of my life we distant -- decided to take up women in the marketplace we worked incredibly hard and we were quite successful so there is no doubt about it but we raise money and went to on
television and worked incredibly hard. so i did that two-- per week. but the of the job -- the other job i had volunteered through the portrait gallery and one day i was asked if i would like to start a radio program. reduce the people and for those that i could interview anybody it could find. one day he said to me and he
looked at me and he said you don't know anything about the topic. supply will have the people come down to brief you. [laughter] so he came home from the of whitehouse in the city must cedeno right to beaches the wanted to ask how you were. but it was a wonderful job. i loved it. to talk about the sex life of a snake. it was incredible with the art museum. with the wonderful things i could do. >> host: you were married to dick over 30 years and
his secrecy got him in trouble with congress. we discussed how he was surprised the spouse of people who worked in the cia had a difficult time he could not tell you certain things and you were fine with that. >> i have to say i did not come up through the ranks. to live the clandestine life it was difficult for some people and much more difficult for others that they did not know what their husbands were doing. i and stand if you live in japan and your husband is out of sight to. it is incredibly difficult. you have to be a very self-contained person.
i did not find that with dick. i was fine with my life. the extraordinary thing he was not only the man who kept secrets but he was always quiet. he loved to talk about things that had nothing to do about his life. i did not feel a need to know what was classified. he says you could ask him anything but you do not cross the line because there was no point* to make his life more difficult. people would give him a hard time about anything i did not feel a great need to
know. was happy to talk about what we were allowed to talk about. i don't think that should be an issue but it is hard to live with that. i could understand that. >> host: talking about iran at the end of the char regime. the united states role to overthrow the democratic leader is still hotly debated. it is reviewed in the opening scenes. so what do you think as the passage of time with the
a that was a good idea to end in another country i think it is still questionable. but i do think with the present situation one can understand the reigning country has been overrun since alexander told what to do by the united states, the greeks, russians they would like to have a say in their own lives. they have never gotten along with the arabs. and also of say no that they have the nuclear weapons. they feel they would like to be in church of their own
destiny. i have written very carefully about iran in the book. it is a complicated subject but the iranians thurgood negotiators have been negotiating see thousand years but if they are up to that sort of negotiation? i think it is incredibly important to understand there culture but they were not understood the we should
liang as is example to the races in countries and languages and do leadership by that and listen to what the iranians are saying he said israel will be no more. he did not say annihilated. there is so much i do think they will have to understand the culture that i wish that you agree but to understand
other people's culture. >> of the last few minutes if you like to ask raise your hand. >> speenine. [inaudible] >> guest: i wrote a lot in the '80s and i had files i had papers all over the house. that that is where it came from. i had a good memory but what i had done but i follow iran and various things spinet
the story almost told itself. i just did the typing that it was clear to me that 68 was a pivotal year because of the moment in time in history and one of the interesting things of her life is how she lived through this time and new people like richard nixon that her perspective is one that i don't think i have ever seen a man have it is a woman's perspective because she responded to the way he treated his wife. that is what memoir can contribute because women do
felt stayed it didn't then they felt so strongly people had to understand culture and he could brief the people on the hill. he really drill bit been to me. have you know, that? he would never allow you to assume something i know he talked to david ignatius first i want you to tell me the history of the country. because they sent the chapter on his long to three different professors and they all said the back with totally different statements [laughter]
no wonder nobody could understand because they'll grow completely different things when i am very interested to hear people and i think that adds a lot to our lives. >> with me were working on the book high said it sounds like an endless desert -- jenner party because they had remarkable hostesses' who were all very good friends and a lot of business was done and the dinner parties. in those-- the senators and
washington so i meant warren buffett to let everybody was talking to him and bill gates was behind. nobody was speaking to him and he said why doesn't anybody talk to me? [laughter] because nobody knows what to do talk to you about. [laughter] >> but they used to watch dick helms said it would be difficult for him to go up on the hill to talk to the senator but it was a bit different with the way
people lived and they had dinner together at night. >> host: was more difficult to you demonize your opponent on the hill. >> and in dix said writer we have to go home? i said mcnamara he said it set down. [laughter] you really learn what they thought i think washington misses that now. >> i know the work they have done before and how much you had connections.
part of that was a wit to the university and the women were beginning to wear head scarves. we do not know what was going on with the ayatollah. but he had been saying what he would do then as soon as he went into exile in paris, he changed his tune and became pro woman to sound like t sound like the good guys and he was extremely clever.
in fact, the other day they said the shah had forbidden them so that was cut off and they did not try enough's but we all knew that the shop will not have another political party he would build hospitals and schools and i spent time sitting next to him because of protocol and he would not allow another political party but of course, he
couldn't. you could see the clash coming. no doubt about it. he could not survive if it but he could not see that. >> there was still a huge divide that probably contributed two's attention as well. >> i traveled around the country but they were good that he said even with the president's year when there the presence of the president say are afraid so last one cabinet member one have been with the shock? why didn't you tell him? we agreed to tell him that when we got inside nobody
would. >> you tell a wonderful story how lbj had a tuesday luncheon group of people who could tell him the truth because that is often the case with people in authority. >> he really felt himself in vietnam. in the memo had come out to from the lbj library he had a member to say what would have been in this country if
we would stay in vietnam. he stayed behind and handed it to president johnson but bob mcnamara called us and said it was declassified. i could hear him screaming why did i not see the memo? they concluded it was after johnson had seen at that it would not make a great deal of difference. >> unit is states position would not be adversely affected and that was an important point* son was
fresh and it was interesting memo. we could probably take one more question. >> and a word of advice to the new cia director? [laughter] >> guest: i always have an opinion. he should learn to be quiet. sending the planes back to the pentagon if you remember after a summit in nodding capture he can add a the warehouse to gave a long spiel i am hoping he can be
more circumspect but he knows the agency well but i hope my a personal opinion is seasons the drone's back in the agency goes back to true intelligence. this is what dick believed so completely with human intelligence you can fly to see how many planes but he cannot tell you what is in the leaders brain or mind and you need human intelligence for that's. i think they should go back they say there is the intelligence failure in the viet that is what they need. >> host: thank you for coming. [applause]
>> we're here with judge block. you were brought onto the court in 1984 pahang. >> guest: correct. nominated by president clinton and with seconded by senator moynihan. 18 years. >> host: inside life -- look at the life and works. >> there is no regular day in the courtroom. we send people to jail, and our sheriff high profile trials in new york city.
in your city is very dynamic i have had a terrorist case over if you name it i have had it. >> host: had to separate your personal life and professional life i assume is consuming position. >> in 1970 i did believe we needed more transparency of what federal court judges do. whole trick is to bridge the gap so wanted a book that was not academic boring but one that people could learn more about there is such a
need for that. >> host: use that on the bench for a long time. >> is in the book. one of the profound this race riots from new york city, the one where the two hedge fund guys were acquitted, said trial involving one of the german clubs and on and on. i look back i cannot believe i have had these trials but i feel blessed to be a federal court judge in new york. >> host: author judge block this road. thank you very much.
>> i like to begin with the story when evening 1954 as the nixon and exited to come across an indian woman sitting on a bench outside the banquet hall. should recognize the woman. then they continued down the stairs. halfway down pat remember the woman and major has been returned. pat spoke with the woman and after they have not met previously when she said they had she times hearst day in the uan woman sitting on a bench outside the banquet hall. should recognize the woman.
then they continued down the stairs. halfway down pat remember the woman and major has been returned. pat spoke with the woman and after they have not met previously when she said they had she times hearst day in the u.s. and what she was doing in the hallway. she explains to was returning to india to hope to catch a glimpse of the president before going home. then she was given a seat so she could hear the speech and see the president. nixon then left saw paul to the previous engagement. i use this story to begin my talk because i think it exemplifies key points a wish to make about pat nixon and her public role or her role as foreign diplomats. she met the indian woman the traveling she did as a first and second lady was the best part of her job as a political wife. second, not the wife of an ambassador or statesmen but a young woman who had come to the united states to see this second lady then to study. she treated everyone she met
as a favor the most important person in the world. they responded to her sincerity. third, issues happiest in her role if she could take action. the cajuns' the nixons' wrapped was not that long negative important at that moment as getting this cast a seat at the presidential dinner. it is a small act but left a lasting impression on the indian woman and the woman at the table where she was seated. that is how we know through a letter someone responded and wrote to pat later. on occasion she was proud of her work to help raise funds for the party and demitasses were frustrating and
mind-numbing. she expressed the jealousy of her friends entering the workforce at the end of the first term. i would like to do part-time work not with all of this unexpected to do. meeting famous men and women and though white tie dinners leaving only the tire routine that use new way from the girls and idle chatter with women. she worked hard her entire life the situation could be intolerable. long hours and physical challenges she was presented as not being used for meaningful. perhaps satisfy foreign travel appeal to her. she felt she played an important role. she was representing american interests abroad. the came d